League of Women Voters’ forum presents local candidates


Local residents attend candidates’ forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Oxford. Photo by Abby Jeffrey.

By AbJeffery

For two hours on Wednesday night, 100 or so Oxford area voters gathered at the Knolls of Oxford Auditorium to meet candidates for Oxford City Council, Talawanda City School Board, and township trustees.

The League of Women Voters of Oxford hosted the event.

Attendees sat at 10 round tables. Participants included three candidates for the school board, five for city council and two for the Reily Township Board of Trustees, the only local township with a competitive race this year. One candidate was assigned to each of the tables.

Once everyone was seated, the candidates were invited to give a short explanation of who they are and why they would be suited for the job each was seeking.

The forum then operated like a round of speed dating, with candidates getting 10 minutes to talk to people at each table and make a favorable impression before a bell rang and they were required to move on to the next table.

Here are some of the most notable lines of the night from each candidate:

Talawanda City Schools Board of Education

Rebecca Howard: “I love having conversations with people who care. Transparency, respect and accountability are my keywords.”

Kathleen Knight-Abowitz: “I have been attending school board meetings for the past few months. Public education is one of the most important public institutions we have.”

Lois Vollmer: “I am passionate about education. As of right now, I don’t think the school board needs to livestream its meetings.”

Oxford City Council

Jason Bracken: “I am a scientist and educator. Compassion, empathy, equality and fairness are important to me.”

Glenn Ellerbe, Jr.: “I’m running for reelection to City Council. I’m a centrist, a realist and ask how this helps the individual.”

Christopher Skoglind: “We came to Oxford in 2016. I have previously served on other rural councils.”

William Snavely: “I listen to the things that you think are important and what you think we should be paying attention to.”

Local residents attend candidates’ forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Oxford. Photo by Abby Jeffrey.

Reily Township Trustee

Mandy Hinkley: “I have the time and energy and willingness to dedicate to this position. I would like to see more communication.”

C. Nick Schwab: “The relationship between Oxford and Reily Township is an important one. I would like the police and fire departments to practice to be prepared for a shooting at sporting events.”